Science as public sphere?

Social Epistemology 21 (1):5 – 20 (2007)
Abstract
In this paper we argue that the best way to explain the normative framework of science is to adopt a model inspired in the democratic characterization of a public sphere. This model assumes and develops some deliberative democratic principles about the inclusiveness of the concerned, the parity of the reasons and the general interest of the subjects. In contrast to both bargaining models and to power-inspired models of the scientific activities, the model of scientific public sphere proposes to account for the self-legislative capacity of science, the public nature of the scientific results and the epistemic virtues of scientific research in terms of the deliberative process carried out by individuals who are engaging in the public use of reason. This perspective provides new insights into the normative conditions of a democratic science.
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